Designing for Scalability : Comments
June 23, 2004
To me a lot of this article is common sense. I’ve designed and redesigned (twice!) a set of sites for a large University Student Union. We have over 400 pages which are constantly morphing. We can’t possibly fit everything on the front page, and there are no real sensible categories to put things into. Simple branding decisions such as the name of departments and their organization turn into huge political firestorms.
When I started this job in 2000 I was into creating cool graphics and clever dHTML animations. Since then I’ve developed a custom templating system designed to make global changes as easy as changes to one file, gone pretty heavy into CSS, and simplified the design to allow for quicker and quicker updates. This summer I’m working on what I hope will be final redesign.
We’re going valid CSS and XHTML Transitional, floated layout, fixed width, print stylesheet, and a robust set of CSS classes for generating 1, 2, and 3 layout rows within a page. Everything is about flexibility! We don’t know what is going to be removed and what is going to be added tomorrow, but the design will allow any change to be made easily while maintaining consistency. I’m pretty excited about it as you can tell, so I better get back to work :)